Advanced myofascial therapy sessions start with body reading. Clients wear athletic clothing during this postural assessment in order for the the therapist to best see the effects of fascial action on the whole body. Each session is specifically designed for what the body reveals. Analyzing holding patterns as well as shortened or overburdened muscles determine how the therapist proceeds. Unlike massage, clients actively participate in movements to facilitate change within the structure. Clients are asked to walk around in the treatment room at regular intervals to gain awareness of and to perceive changes in their musculature. This physical movement allows the brain to ‘catch up’ with the rapid shifts occurring during sessions and for the body to adjust to a new form. Clients are encouraged in between sessions to be mindful of reoccurring postures and activities in their everyday life which inhibit progress. Myofascial sessions are grouped as a series to unravel or to unveil the underlying restrictions and to create new patterns of expression by way of education in proper body mechanics and movement, self treatment instruction, enhancement of strength, improved flexibility, and postural and movement awareness.
You may not know it, but the inside of your body is wrapped in fascia, as if your body is wrapped entirely in plastic Saran wrap. Fascia has the appearance of a thin gel-like spider web, connecting layers of muscle and surrounding all internal body tissues and bones. Everyday habitual patterns such as poor posture, trauma, inflammatory responses, even surgical procedures create restrictions which limit the ease of movement or range of motion in the muscles and surrounding tissues. These restrictions may not show up in many of the standard tests (x-rays, CAT scans etc.) however the result may be unexplained pain and sensitivities in muscles and joints. As a protective measure fascia can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch and yield incredible feats of strength to save others or to survive crushing accidents that should have been fatal. These are the wonderful and amazing benefits of fascia, nonetheless that same fascia can subsequently inhibit movement as a result of incurred traumas. Much like a computer the fascia needs to be rebooted or reset to free these limiting patterns.
Advanced Myofascial Therapy is also known as myofascial release (MFR) The goal of myofascial therapy is to relieve restrictions through gentle manipulation along with client movement in order for connected structures to move more freely, and range of motion is restored. Research has proven that fascia, like muscle, has the ability to contract and to relax and plays a major role in mobility and stability of joints. Fascia acts as a tensegrity (tension and integrity) model where tension and resistance rely on each other for stability and function.
Fascia plays an important role in the support and function of our bodies, since it surrounds and attaches to all structures. In the normal healthy state, fascia has a relaxed wavy configuration. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. When one experiences physical trauma, emotional trauma, scarring, or inflammation, for example, the fascia loses its pliability. It becomes tight, restricted, and a source of tension to the rest of the body. Trauma, such as a fall, car accident, whiplash, surgery or just habitual poor posture and repetitive stress injuries have cumulative effects on the body. The changes trauma causes in the fascial system influences comfort and function of our body. Fascial restrictions can exert excessive pressure causing many symptoms. Fascial restrictions affect our flexibility and stability, and are a determining factor in our ability to withstand stress and perform daily activities.
Myofascial release, like many alternative therapies, promote the philosophy that the mind and the body work together to maintain health. The body has the ability to remember postural positions, actions and emotions without the brain reminding it to do so. Throughout the body’s fascial system flows microscopic cells which have the the ability to retain memory. Fascia is also dynamic in nature, it responds to internal and external forces.
Advanced Myofascial therapy is based on the Thomas Myers model of Anatomy Trains.